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South Pike girls lead All-Area Basketball Team

South Pike juniors Ivielle Stewart and Kampatrick Slocum weretwo of five outstanding starters for the Class 3A state champ LadyEagles this year.

South Pike, under the direction of Coach Marcus Flippin, marchedto the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson and defeated Senatobia forthe state championship in March.

Stewart, a 5-foot-8 point guard, averaged 16 points, 3 reboundsand 2 steals a game. Slocum, a 5-9 post player, averaged 11 points,10 rebounds and 1 steal per game.

For their accomplishments this season, Stewart and Slocum havebeen named Co-Most Valuable Players and Miss Basketball on the TheDAILY LEADER’s 2007 All-Area Girls Basketball Team. Flippin wasnamed All-Area Coach of the Year.

Joining Slocum and Stewart on the All-Area Team are AlexisCrosby of Wesson, Hope Swindle of Parklane Academy, Tiana Wilbertand Alexis Mitchell of Hazlehurst and Shareka Hunt of FranklinCounty.

The All-Area Team, composed of players outside of LincolnCounty, was selected by the DL sports department, with inputprovided by area high school and college coaches.

Both girls Slocum and Stewart were named to the MAC All-Stateteam.

“It feels good,” said Stewart about being named Co-MVP withSlocum. “I’ve never got an honor like that.”

Slocum agreed. “It’s a new experience. “It was a teameffort.”

Both girls said they enjoy playing for Coach Flippin.

“He yells,” said Slocum. “He makes us focus.”

Stewart says Coach Flippin helping hand extends into theclassroom. “He stresses for us to work hard on our basketball andour academics.”

When questioned about their toughest opponent, they differed onteams. Slocum picked Wilkinson County and Stewart went withIndianola Gentry, the unbeaten (40-0) Class 4A team that beat SouthPike in the MHSAA Grand Slam Tournament in Tupelo last month.

“We thank our team for supporting us,” said Stewart.

“Everybody wants to work and make this a better team,” addedSlocum.

Both girls agreed, they want to win their division, South Stateand Class 3A state title again next season. They added the Overalltitle as well.

“No doubt, we are going back,” added Stewart.

Flippin praised Stewart’s marksmanship. “Ivielle is an excellentshooter. She averaged four 3-pointers a game for us.”

Flippin said Slocum is a gifted athlete. “Kampatrice. is strongas an ox. She is a former state champion in the shot put and thediscus. She can grab an offensive rebound and stick it back. She’sreal competitive.”

Slocum also runs a leg in the 4×100-meter relay for South Pike.She is an excellent student (3.6 GPA).

Alexis Crosby (5-2, sr.) started for the WessonLady Cobras (13-14) the last three years. Crosby, a point guardwith good 3-point shots, averaged 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 stealsand 4 assists per game.

“Alexis was our most valuable player,” said Wesson coach HughWebb. “She has a good work ethic. She can play at the nextlevel.”

Hope Swindle (5-9, sr.) played guard for theParklane girls. She averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steal and 5assists per game. The Lady Pioneers finished 20-10, advancing tothe Class AAA state playoffs.

Parklane coach Russell Cruise complimented his senior playmaker.”Hope is very intense. She’s a good leader, with an excellentunderstanding of the game. She’s a good ball-handler, too. She canget to the basket and score or draw a foul.”

Tiana Wilbert (5-4, sr.) averaged 15 points, 3rebounds, 3 steals 7.5 assists for the Hazlehurst Lady Indians as aguard.

“Tiana is our point guard,” said Hazlehurst coach Dennis Adams.”She sees the floor. She dribbles with both hands. She is junkyardmean. She plays defense.”

April Mitchell (6-0, sr.) worked the backboardsfor Hazlehurst. Mitchell averaged 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and2 assists per game.

April is the kid everybody wants on a team,”said Adams. “She never talks back. She gives you 100 percent. Shecan play the game. What she lacks in talent, she makes up for indrive.”

Shareka Hunt (5-7, jr.) has another year leftwith the Franklin County Lady Bulldogs. Hunt, who played forwardfor Coach Charles Moore, finished the year averaging 16.1 pointsand 8.3 rebounds per game.

“Shareka started in our program as a pure athlete,” said CoachMoore. “She has really developed her skills. She has gone from lowpost to a guard position. She loves to smile while she works hard.She enjoys it.”

The Lady Bulldogs finished 23-6, winning the Division 7-3ATournament. They lost in the second round of the South Stateplayoffs.